I graduated the Royal School of Needlework apprenticeship scheme in 2003 after 3 years of intensive training in all aspects of traditional hand embroidery.
Jen Goodwin Embroidery was born in the years to follow, starting with a small range of embroidery kits alongside occasional workshop tuition on a part time basis.
I decided it was time to take the blind jump into full time self employment after spending time in the RSN studio working on the wedding dress of the Duchess of Cambridge. Getting back into stitching on more ambitious projects and thinking of stitching everyday was the push I needed. However, life managed to postpone my start date by a year due to other work commitments, this allowed a lot of planning time to hit the ground running.
The 18th May 2012 was the start of the happiest career I could have imagined, offering so many different opportunities from embroidering dresses worn to the Oscars, restoring old textiles, ecclesiastical commissions to embroidering the interior of a vintage car!
I am very passionate about offering a wide range of embroidery kits. I aim to design unique projects which are both contemporary in feel and yet still built on solid techniques. The range of kits is constantly being expanded, many of these kits are also accompanied by videos to ensure the techniques being learnt are accurately worked.
I moved into my permanent studio space at Walford Mill Crafts just over a year later, 1st June 2013, this is very much the longterm home of my business. This is the venue where I teach a range of courses and most importantly is the venue where you will find me stitching most days of the week.
Here I focus on creating complex and detailed pieces of art embroidery. These pieces are not intended to be come embroidery kits or to be replicated by others but are ways to show how embroidery is a beautiful art form that should not be discarded by the wider art community as just a hobby.
2020 was obviously a testing year for so many small independent businesses, it was filled with great lows such as leaving the studio for months however there was the high of seeing my first book published. Blackwork Embroidery is such a passion of mine, I hope the book continues to bring people to this wonderful technique.
2020 also saw me developing a range of different products featuring my embroidery art. If you want to own a little piece of my art work do visit the online shop or drop me an email.
My embroidery kits are carefully curated boxes of joy containing all of the materials needed to create your chosen design. From the second I have finished drawing I am planning how best to present the design to you, from my choice of materials to stitch placement and instruction diagrams to kit packaging.
I work hard to source the best materials for you to stitch with, choosing to work with all of the brands that are my personal favourites while quietly behind the scenes always looking for new brands to introduce you to.
DMC is my chosen brand of stranded cotton, with many colours bought in on bulk cones which allows me to price the kits as competitively as possible. Some Anchor stranded cottons do sneak in occasionally too but I do not use other brands personally or within my kits.
All of my Goldwork wires are supplied by Benton & Johnson in the UK, my Crewelwork wools are naturally dyed by Renasssiasnce Dyeing in France , my favourite Blackwork threads are by Aurifil in Italy and my favourite linens are produced and supplied by Zweigart in Germany.
My kits are made in small batches from the embroidery towers studio/stockroom, with each kit being carefully packed and wrapped in beautiful tissue paper. They are little presents to enjoy unwrapping.
Each kit is supplied with a comprehensive instruction booklet with clear images and diagrams. The fabric is either pre-printed with the design or supplied with a template for a tissue transfer, a generous amount of all of the threads needed to work the design, needles and a glossy postcard of the original design to use for reference. If the kit has accompanying videos the booklet contains a link to these videos too.
There is usually a good supply of all kits held on stock provided that have been rebranded, there are a couple outstanding which are being worked on at the moment. All of the stickers for the boxes decorate the studio wall as I am so fond of my packaging!
Outside of lockdown conditions orders are usually processed within 48 hours of being placed. However during this odd spell of lockdown orders are being dispatched at a slightly slower pace due to the government guidelines.
The range of embroidery kits is constantly developing with more designs and techniques being added regularly. If you are looking for a specific technique please drop me an email, it might be that a new kit is already in the works that would be perfect for you!
I enjoy creating art embroidery more than anything, it is my favourite element of my embroidery practice. These pieces are tricky, complex and definitely not intended to become embroidery kits for the wider public, if I am being challenged by my work then I know others will struggle too. Embroidery is often seen as a crafting hobby rather than an art form of its own. This is a common misconception that I would like to alter, even if I can only alter the opinion of a few people.
It is very easy to forget the complexities of some traditional techniques if they are not revisited periodically, by revisiting techniques I am able to expand my own skill set and as well as enhancing my teaching practice. This thinking outside of the box mentality is very beneficial in the classroom.
I aim to work 2-3 art pieces per year to explore just how far I can stretch my technical skills while creating something engaging. I love seeing people in my studio questioning how pieces have been created with a needle and thread.
When designing an art embroidery piece I tend to choose the technique I fancy working first before honing down my design choices. These designs are chosen solely with my own entertainment in mind, if others like the embroidery I am creating this is an excellent added bonus.
While these pieces are not used as embroidery kits they are still used in my work, however they are the images used across my product range. The product range can be found in both my studio at Walford Mill Crafts and in my website shop.